KARACHI: A case of 15-year old child Adnan, who originally belongs to Multan and now languishing in Youthful Offenders Industrial School (YOIS) in Karachi central jail since six months, is eye opener for government system, universal conventions implementers and child rights defenders in the country.

Ms Nazra Jahan, working on children rights and facilitated the session, quoting this boy said she talked to him during the recent visit to conduct session with children in Youthful Offenders Industrial School (YOIS) Karachi on the occasion of Universal Day 2016, which was celebrated with child inmates there.

Adnan narrating the plight said he migrated alone to Karachi in search of livelihood to ease his poor family early this year. He joined factory for work within a few days staying here with some children. After some days, the factory owner shifted Adnan alone to another firm in the city. For 18 months he was doing hard work there.

One day while returning home from his job at nighttime patrolling police caught him, alleging as if he was the same boy who fired at police.

After brutal torture police forced Adnan to confess the crime he never committed. Adnan was kept in custody for four days in Mauripur police station. After that he was shifted to Kalari Thana, where he was kept for six days. During these days he was badly tortured, harshly abused and treated brutally by police, who implicated them for crime which they had not committed.

Then Adnan was transferred to the industrial Home for youthful offenders in Karachi Central Jail. He reported that he was taken by police in front of Judge on 2nd September 2016. Since then he has not been produced before the court. "Since then neither my boss in factory nor my parents have been informed about my presence in jail," he said. "I am not allowed to call my parents and factory boss to inform them about the situation and seek their help. My days are passing in darkness without any reason. I have been forced to confess the crime which I even never to imagine," he said, narrating his case.

This was not single case in which police put a minor boy in jail, there are several children victimized in similar way and putting in jail. There are 14 juvenile offenders in YOIS, who were migrants from different cities of Pakistan and came to Karachi in search of employment to support their families. They all later were forced by police and sent them to jail.

This was learned during the Universal Day celebrations organized by Foundation for Research and Human Development (FRHD) in collaboration with DevCon and Tere Des Home (TDH) under global campaign Destination Unknown (DU) recently. The purpose of the session was to explore juvenile offenders potential for success and bright future as well as chasing the causes of children on move to come into conflict with law within the vicinity of YOIS.

During interactive sessions conducted at youthful offenders Industrial School, Karachi, it was found that 22 juvenile delinquents were involved in repeated crimes and 174 were the first time offenders, who were involved in minor crimes.

Ms. Nazra Jahan said hundreds of children in Pakistan are on the move. They have lost home, shelter and are struggling under generational poverty culture, violence or disaster. They may end up exploited or abused at their destination is Unknown. During the session, she said, some victim offenders complained that police have kept with them under custody for two --three days and tortured them badly. Probation officer neither reported their detention nor informed to their guardians.

According to her 196 juvenile offenders are languishing in prison, out of them 191 are under trials while 5 convicted. Seven juveniles came into prison against the violation of foreigners Act, 1946 among them one is convicted. Around 50 juvenile offenders admitted that they were doing child labor by working as servant in hotel, doing loading work, work in factories, auto workshops, etc, she said. She said the children's universal day is the fight to protect the rights of children of Pakistan to promote well-being and security of children especially those who are suffering from the impact of discrimination, exploitation, poverty and armed conflict.

She quoting law said "Child protection refers to the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the UN convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of every child in and out of the home. Child Protection consists of reducing risks to children's holistic well-being, making children's rights a reality, restoring hope and a dignified living where abuse has occurred and creating an enabling environment that supports children's positive development." She appealed to the government and human rights defenders to come forward for help, investigate to see why these children are languishing in jails without committing any crime. Why black sheep in police are given free hand to violate the law and bring bade name to the government? she asked and demanded release of these innocent children.